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Proposed Facebook Changes

You should have by now received this email from Facebook if your contact email is current and you have an account:

We’re writing to let you know that we are proposing updates to our Data Use Policy and our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. These two documents tell you about how we collect and use data, and the rules that apply when you choose to use Facebook. Our goal with these updates is to make our practices more clear.
We update these documents from time to time to make sure we keep you posted about the latest things you can do with Facebook. This email describes the key changes we’ve proposed and directs you to places where you can learn more.

Facebook is proposing some updates to include:

  • Your information. We clarified that you share information with Facebook when you communicate with us, like when you send us an email.
  • Other information we receive about you.  We simplified the explanation for how we receive information and clarified the types of information we receive when you use or run Facebook, including from your devices, such as your IP address or mobile phone number.
  • Personalized ads. We rewrote the entire advertising section to better explain what we thought was important for people to know about how we use the information we receive to provide relevant ads to people on and off Facebook.

This is all good news. I am wondering however who wrote these rules in the first place. If they are so hard to navigate and comprehend, then perhaps it was more a lawyer than the product owner. Sure you have to run this stuff by lawyers – something I suggest for all privacy statements on websites and products, but really make it so that it not only passes the court muster, but is understandable.

To not have it readily available and understandable breeds suspicion which is rampant with Facebook when it comes to privacy and what they do with your data. It is way past time for Facebook to get it’s shit together and give us clarity. So no kudos, just an ‘about damn time – but you’re not there yet’.